‘Celebri­ties Paint for a Cause’ is Fri­day

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) - - NEWS - Regis­ter Cit­i­zen staff

TOR­RING­TON — Con­necti­cut Academy for the Arts’ United Way fundraiser is set for Fri­day night, with a party and auc­tion for paint­ings cre­ated by “celebrity artists from or­ga­ni­za­tions in and around Tor­ring­ton.

Guests will be able to vote for their fa­vorite paint­ing by a celebrity, said academy co-founder Teresa Gra­ham-Sul­li­van, but their name won’t be vis­i­ble. The celebrity whose art­work gets the most votes will re­ceive $1,000 for his or her fa­vorite char­ity.

“We saw our com­mu­nity re­ally come to­gether in a way we have never seen be­fore,” Gra­ham Sul­li­van said in an email. “In the spirit of giv­ing, these very busy ex­ec­u­tives came to­gether and gave some­thing much more pre­cious than their money — they gave their time, spirit and tal­ent to paint for a cause and to give to the many less for­tu­nate in our com­mu­nity. In the process I think each one dis­cov­ered some tal­ent in them­selves to be proud of.”

Well-known lead­ers in the com­mu­nity were asked to par­tic­i­pate in the paint­ing ef­fort, ac­cord­ing to Owen Quinn, United Way of North­west Con­necti­cut’s ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor. The United Way part­nered with CAFTA to raise money for the twonon-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions.

The United Way sup­ports a wide va­ri­ety of out­reach pro­grams, in­clud­ing Back to School Clothes for Kids, Food for Your Neigh­bors, the Day of Car­ing and Girls Sum­mit — Women’s Lead­er­ship Ini­tia­tive. The art academy will use the do­na­tions to sup­port its sum­mer art camp schol­ar­ship pro­gram. They are hop­ing to raise $30,000.

On Tues­day, Gra­hamSul­li­van said about 36 paint­ings would be on dis­play at Fri­day night’s auc­tion. Among the celebrity artists whose work will be dis­played are Quinn, state Rep. Michelle Cook, D-Tor­ring­ton, Vic­to­ria Maz­zarelli, artis­tic direc­tor of the Nut­meg Bal­let Con­ser­va­tory, and state At­tor­ney Gen­eral Ge­orge Jepsen. Other par­tic­i­pants are from NBC Con­necti­cut.

Af­ter Fri­day night’s party, the ex­hibit in the Libby Build­ing will be open to the pub­lic from 12-4 p.m. on Satur­day and Sun­day. View­ers can vote for their fa­vorites. “They can also try to match the artist’s name to the paint­ing,” Gra­ham-Sul­li­van said.

“I re­ally be­lieve this is the start of some­thing big for Tor­ring­ton and the whole North­west re­gion,” Gra­ham-Sul­li­van said.

“En­joy the pho­tos. If you need any more info just let me know. We hope to re­ally pack the place at 104 Main on Fri­day in case all the an­chors show up for live broad­cast.”

The event, which in­cludes a pre­view party, art sale and wine tast­ing, will be held Fri­day at the Libby Build­ing, 104 Main St., from 6 to 9 p.m. . Tick­ets are $25 and can be pur­chased on­line from the art academy or by call­ing 860-201-5706.

Teresa Gra­ham-Sul­li­van / Con­trib­uted photo

Celebrity painters spent time at the Con­necti­cut Academy for the Arts in Tor­ring­ton, pre­par­ing their works of art for Fri­day's live auc­tion to ben­e­fit the United Way of North­west Con­necti­cut. Above, Dier­dre DiCara, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of F.I.S.H., pho­to­graphs a group of artists.

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